Saturday, July 29, 2017

Juicing is Junk, UK Trash-Trawling, Buddy Stockholm Syndrome

Nothing bores me to death faster than listening to some chalky, pinch-faced Soulcycle enthusiast drone on about their super-special, vegan, organic, locavore, non-processed, plant-based diet. Diet talk of any kind has always bored me, even when I was massage therapist and was supposed to care about these things. Along with that comes my annoyance with all things juice-related. I felt vindicated this week when I read the article “Stop Juicing” by Katy Waldman on Slate. She pretty much nailed everything I find odious about our nation’s juicing obsession. It’s fetishistic, elitist, and at the same time, weirdly infantile. I never understood the appeal of taking perfectly good produce and laboriously grinding it into a dropper-full of liquid through an expensive machine. I delighted in reading the article, but then fell down the comment rabbit-hole and was horrified at the backlash from an army of half-informed armchair nutritionists wielding their collective “clean eating” mania to virtue-signal and lord their pricey, exclusionary juice habits over the rest of us. We are living with such an obscene abundance of food that we actually have the luxury to create shame around eating. “Clean” diets are our national religion and the new refuge of moral scolds.

Full disclosure: I had a brief foray into juicing a few years ago when I was given a juicer as a gift. I gave up it frustration when I realized it took seven oranges, three pounds of blueberries and a head of kale to eke out barely a shot glass worth of juice. The only benefit I got from it were the copious calories burnt from the two hours it took to clean the machine afterwards. 

In preparation for a long-awaited upcoming trip, I started reading UK news websites, among them, the UK Daily Mail. After a few weeks of smirking and rolling my eyes at its utter trashiness…well….I got hooked, folks. I now un-ironically love it. It’s become my go-to morning coffee-sipping site. I am agape at all of the horrible news stories from Florida (they are obsessed with Florida), appalled at the scandalous low-cut blouses worn by the latest pop sugar icon or posh royal, and continuously bemused by their headline writing STYLE in which they seemingly capitalize WORDS at RANDOM. I’m sure there’s some scientifically-proven click-bait formula behind it, but I have yet to figure it out. Not that I need to justify my trashy reading habits, but in my defense, they do have an awesome Historical Photography section that I always find fascinating, if a little…off factually now and then. In their defense, oddly, many of their Historical Photographs center around the American Old West, and I suppose they can’t be expected to have a super-good grip on that time period. At any rate, they are just so deliciously entertaining I can’t help but forgive them. 

Buddy continues to be Buddy, hammering away at fully solidifying our Stockholm Syndrome by being sweet and loving one minute, then, oh, say, dragging a terrified bird into the apartment the next. The issue with my family member continues to be heartbreaking, but I am trying to find some peace and normalcy day-to-day. I don’t really know where I stand spiritually and or religiously anymore but I am not one of those assholes who get mad if you say you are praying for me/my family. I was very touched recently when one of the emergency room nurses at my work stopped by to get the family member’s first name so she could pray for her more effectively. So if you’re inclined that way, I am not turning anything down. We are navigating difficult waters, and who knows what physical effect could be had in the ether of good intentions and loving thoughts? Thank you to all of you who have reached out. It means the world to me. 

--Kristen McHenry 

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